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Breakfast is the most crucial meal of the day. It kick-starts your metabolism and helps you burn calories throughout the day. Basically, you run your day on your breakfast. While breakfast is the most important meal for the day for anyone - it is a bit more crucial for teenagers or adolescents.
Teenagers or adolescents' activity levels are higher when compared to the other age groups (of children), as it is not just the physical load but also the mental and emotional load . And considering this, it is crucial that teenagers should follow a healthy diet and eating pattern which could manage their energy levels and overall (mental and physical) health.
Consequently, a healthy eating pattern is the same for a child as it is for adults although some nutrients differ in quantities. And most teenagers tend to skip the most important meal of the day - breakfast, yes, there are studies to prove this . So, why do doctors and nutrition experts say that teenagers should NOT skip breakfast? Let's take a look.
Importance Of Breakfast For Teenagers
1. Improved Energy Levels
Eating breakfast can provide and maintain good energy levels of teenagers throughout the first half of the day till the lunch break. Studies show that the nutrients one miss by skipping breakfast cannot be compensated for in other meals. Eating breakfast can help kickstart your brain and metabolism, burning the calories early in the morning and in turn, help fuel the energy levels .
Foods for energy: Banana, sweet potato, eggs, apple, dark chocolate, quinoa, oatmeal, yoghurt, lentils, avocado, oranges, strawberry, seeds, nuts, beans and leafy green vegetables.
2. Improved Concentration
When you are a teenager, getting distracted is usual. However, an elevated level of distraction is not helpful and can impact the teenager's concentration levels, making it difficult for them to listen to lectures or complete work in class. Eating a healthy breakfast can improve concentration span, memory and recall .
Foods for concentration: Nuts, dark chocolate, avocado, whole grains, blueberry, pumpkin seeds, broccoli etc.
3. Improved Academic Performance
Eating a well-balanced meal in the morning can help improve memory, which in turn can benefit the students' academic performance . In a study, teenagers who were given a low-glycemic breakfast were able to sustain attention longer than those given a high-glycemic breakfast .
Foods for brain and memory: Blueberry, coffee, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, nuts, orange, eggs, green tea etc.
4. Better Digestion Throughout The Day
A healthy breakfast can help with the digestion process . A balance between protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, plant components and fibre in the breakfast meal plays a central role in maintaining the health of the digestive system.
Foods for improved digestion: Yoghurt, apple, papaya, whole grains, beetroot, ginger, dark green vegetables etc.
5. Better Eating Habits
It is proven that a person who eats a healthy breakfast end to make healthier food choices throughout the day, which directly impacts long-term health . Studies show that consumption of breakfast is associated with positive moods and calmness, which has a link to how individuals choose their meals . Better eating habits can also help reduce the risk of obesity in teenagers. A high-protein breakfast can reduce cravings too.
6. Better Physical Performance
Teenagers who eat breakfast have been shown to have more energy and excel better at sports and games . While adolescents who skip breakfast feel tired, have less energy and have a slower response to events. Eating breakfast, especially if your kid has sports practice in the morning, can boost stamina and endurance .
Healthy Breakfast Ideas For Teenagers
- ¾ cup raw nuts
- 10 dates, soaked and pitted
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (optional)
- 1 cup fresh fruit (mango, berries or banana)
- 1 tablespoon fresh raw grated coconut
- In a blender, blend the nuts and dates and coconut oil together until nuts are almost finely ground.
- Combine in a bowl with fresh fruit and grated coconut.
- Top with nut milk, to taste.
Oatmeal with cinnamon and apples
- 1 cup oats
- 4 cups water, for soaking
- 4 dates or soaked figs or apricots
- 2 cups water for blending
- 1 red apple, chopped small
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg, clove or allspice
- Add the oats, dates and two cups of water in a blender and blend well till it becomes smooth. Mix together the chopped apples, cinnamon and spices.
- Top with apples.
On A Final Note...
Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day which boosts an individual's ability to function through the day and adding fruits, leafy vegetables, yoghurt, seeds and nuts can not only improve their physical health but also mental health.